Post List

  • September 10, 2010
  • 09:12 AM

Sleep, Diet and Life Expectancy

by Eoin Lettice in Communicate Science

Sleep seems to be on the mind of lots of scientists over the last few days with a number of intriguing sets of results being published.

According to a study published on Tuesday in PLoS Biology, when flies are starved they are able to stay awake for long periods of time without feeling the downsides of going without a nap.

The experiment was conducted by starving some flies while allowing others to feed normally and then providing a physical jolt to prevent them from nodding off. The starv........ Read more »

  • September 10, 2010
  • 08:47 AM

Origins of Mind 101

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

If I had to describe the mission, the point, the raison d'etre of the entire field of psychology in just one sentence, I would say: Psychology aims to determine the relative extents to which biology and experience determine cognition and behavior." And, as you might expect, there are widely differing schools of thought. Nativists emphasize genetics, biology, and innate mechanisms. By contrast, the empiricists insist that babies are born into the world with no a priori knowledge thereof, and just........ Read more »

  • September 10, 2010
  • 08:08 AM

Freeze Warning

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

If it were a game, it could be called climate freeze tag. A new study finds that freezing construction of all new carbon-emitting machines – and then letting the remaining cars, power plants and factories run until they rust away – could prevent catastrophic global warming. But such a radical solution would be possible only […] Read More »... Read more »

  • September 10, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Exercise Reduces Genetic Risk of Obesity?

by Arya M. Sharma in Dr. Sharma's Obesity Notes

In the never-ending nature-nurture debate (which is not really a sensible debate at all), the nurture side may have scored a minor “win” this week.
In a paper just released online in PLoS, Li and colleagues from Cambridge University, UK, use the EPIC study to demonstrate that being physically active may protect from the obesogenic impact [...]... Read more »

  • September 10, 2010
  • 06:52 AM

More models, better biochemistry

by Becky in It Takes 30

Peter Sorger, Will Chen and Mario Niepel have a new review out in Genes & Development, which looks to me as if it was only classified as a Review because the journal doesn’t have a category called Tutorial (Chen et al. 2010. Classic and contemporary approaches to modeling biochemical reactions Genes Dev. 24 1861-75).  It’s [...]... Read more »

  • September 10, 2010
  • 06:45 AM

Leaping to a bigger brain

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

Years ago an evolutionary biologist mentioned to me almost offhand that with the emergence of genomics and the necessity to master computational techniques a lot of the labor hours which may have gone into a more thorough understanding of specific organisms had gone by the wayside. He believed that his Ph.D. advisor was going to [...]... Read more »

Weisbecker V, & Goswami A. (2010) Brain size, life history, and metabolism at the marsupial/placental dichotomy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 20823252  

  • September 10, 2010
  • 06:18 AM

Paucis Verbis card: Thrombolytic contraindications in CVA

by Michelle Lin in Academic Life In Emergency Medicine

With the recent widening of the thrombolytic window from ≤3 hours to ≤4.5 hours for ischemic strokes, I wanted to review the contraindications for thrombolytics (rtPA). To review the NIH Stroke Scale (NIHSS), go to the Paucis Verbis card on NIHSS.Thanks to Dr. Jason Nomura for making this card and summarizing the long list of exclusion criteria. If anyone has a practical topic, algorithm, or table, please feel free to share! I'd be happy to format and upload into the PV series.Feel free to d........ Read more »

  • September 10, 2010
  • 05:13 AM

Why does Time Slow to a Crawl when we Engage in Laborous Tasks?

by Jose in Psychothalamus

"Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute."

- Albert Einstein, on Relativity.

Kathleen Vohs and Brandon Schmeichel, particularly fascinated with Einstein's first observation, sought to establish whether regulating the self can elongate the 'felt' duration of time... Read more »

  • September 10, 2010
  • 04:32 AM

Freud was right: we are attracted to our relatives

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Freud said there'd be no need for incest to be such a powerful cultural taboo if people weren't sexually attracted to their relatives in the first place. Given that in-breeding is associated with increased mortality, he argued that the incest taboo had emerged as way to keep our dangerous incestuous desires in check. Evolutionary psychologists take a strikingly different view. Inspired by Edward Westermarck, the Finnish sociologist and anthropologist, they argue that we've evolved automatic psyc........ Read more »

  • September 10, 2010
  • 04:09 AM

The neuroscience of creativity and insight

by William Lu in The Quantum Lobe Chronicles

Have you ever wondered what was going on in your noggin when on that rare occasion you had an "aha!" moment or found yourself in a creative flow state, where even your screaming girlfriend couldn't snap you out of? Well Dietrich and Kanso over at the American University of Beirut seem to have mapped out the phenomena for us nicely. However, it's not quite as simple as you think. In their review paper published in this months Psychological Bulletin, they cover three broad categories relate........ Read more »

  • September 9, 2010
  • 11:07 PM

Paper: Detection of a "Superbolide" on Jupiter

by Jason Perry in The Gish Bar Times

A paper was published today online in the Astrophysical Journal Letters on the June 3 fireball on Jupiter.  The impact produced a bright flash that was seen all the way from Earth by two amateur astronomers: Christopher Go in Cebu, Philippines and Anthony Wesley in Murrumbateman, Australia.  We discussed the impact at the time as not one but two detections of this impact were confirmed.  This new paper is titled, "First Earth-based Detection of a Superbolide on Jupiter," by Ricar........ Read more »

R. Hueso, A. Wesley, C. Go, S. Perez-Hoyos, M. H. Wong, L. N. Fletcher, A. Sanchez-Lavega, M. B. E. Boslough, I. de Pater, G. S. Orton.... (2010) First Earth-based Detection of a Superbolide on Jupiter. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 721(2). info:/10.1088/2041-8205/721/2/L129

  • September 9, 2010
  • 10:31 PM

PMRV joins XMRV as possible etiologic agent of chronic fatigue syndrome

by Vincent Racaniello in virology blog

The new human retrovirus XMRV, first detected in malignant prostate tissue, was subsequently identified in a high percentage of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The virus was not detected in four independent studies of CFS patients in Europe or the United States. The results of a second American study, whose publication was blocked for [...]... Read more »

Lo SC, Pripuzova N, Li B, Komaroff AL, Hung GC, Wang R, & Alter HJ. (2010) Detection of MLV-related virus gene sequences in blood of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and healthy blood donors. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(36), 15874-9. PMID: 20798047  

  • September 9, 2010
  • 10:10 PM

Ocean of Pseudoscience: Flipper is a Fraud!

by Chuck in Ya Like Dags?

This little bit of pseudoscience is a perfect example of how popular culture can distort our view of how nature works.  Most people are familiar with Flipper, whether it’s the old TV show from the 60′s, the short-lived 90′s reboot … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • September 9, 2010
  • 08:13 PM

Yogurt bacteria knock back influenza

by microbialmodus in Microbial Modus

I recently mastered the art of yogurt-making…  or, I guess I  could say it more precisely: I learned how to manipulate a commercially available consortium of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) to make yogurt for me using common, household materials in my very own kitchen.  As a soil microbiologist, I love running these little experiments at [...]... Read more »

  • September 9, 2010
  • 06:30 PM

Predicting Drug Tolerance via Biochemical Feedback Elucidation

by Michael Long in Phased

Peer Bork (European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Germany) and coworkers' computational analysis suggests that at least 8% of proteins are subject to drug-induced feedback loops, and therefore less susceptible to effective drug targeting. This news feature was written on September 9, 2010.... Read more »

Iskar, M., Campillos, M., Kuhn, M., Jensen, L. J., van Noort, V., & Bork, P. (2010) Drug-Induced Regulation of Target Expression. PLoS Computational Biology, 6(9). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000925  

  • September 9, 2010
  • 06:09 PM

Could dieting pollute us?

by Melinda Moyer in Body Politic

I just stumbled across a thought-provoking study that I have to share. Korean researchers publishing in the International Journal of Obesity have found that weight loss is associated with higher blood levels of persistent organic pollutants (POPs)—chemicals used to make pesticides and solvents that are notorious for accumulating in our bodies and in the environment. The researchers believe that POPs, which typically build up in fat, get released into the bloodstream when fat is burned. There, ........ Read more »

Drøyvold WB, Lund Nilsen TI, Lydersen S, Midthjell K, Nilsson PM, Nilsson JA, Holmen J, & Nord-Trøndelag Health Study. (2005) Weight change and mortality: the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study. Journal of internal medicine, 257(4), 338-45. PMID: 15788003  

  • September 9, 2010
  • 03:28 PM

There will be blood. And barf.

by Dr. Carin Bondar in Dr. Carin Bondar - Biologist With a Twist

It’s a tough world out there.
Prey species experience intense selection pressure to evolve ways to outwit their predators.  Indeed, the ‘Life-Dinner’ principle explains that while unsuccessful predators lose a meal, unsuccessful prey will lose their lives!  The diversity of ways in which prey species in the animal kingdom defend themselves against predators is extremely vast; [...]... Read more »

  • September 9, 2010
  • 01:13 PM

The Famous Scientist

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

What makes a scientist famous?Rae Goodell (Later known as Simpson), in her dissertation-turned-book, "The Visible Scientists" studied the visible scientists of the seventies (Sagan, Skinner, Mead, etc.). Her book summarizes the essentials of being a famous scientist.The hardest to achieve is a credible reputation. The visible scientist is an authority. A well-known institution is a must (Harvard/Stanford/Any IV League university). A "Hot Topic". Back in the seventies people talked about the po........ Read more »

Goodell, R. (1977) The visible scientists. Boston : Little, Brown. info:other/0316320005

  • September 9, 2010
  • 12:00 PM

Social Sensitivity Hypothesis and Migration

by Sean Roberts in A Replicated Typo 2.0

Given findings that certain genetic variants will make a person more reliant on social contact under stress, the social sensitivity hypothesis proposes that certain genetic variants ‘fit’ better with certain social structures. In support of this idea, Way and Lieberman (2010) find a correlation between the prevalence of this variant and the level of collectivism (as opposed to individualism) in a society. This post looks at how this effect might interact with migration patterns.... Read more »

Caspi, A., Karen Sugden,, Terrie E. Moffitt,, Alan Taylor,, Ian W. Craig,, HonaLee Harrington,, Joseph McClay,, Jonathan Mill,, Judy Martin,, Antony Braithwaite,.... (2003) Influence of Life Stress on Depression: Moderation by a Polymorphism in the 5-HTT Gene. Science, 301(5631), 386-389. DOI: 10.1126/science.1083968  

  • September 9, 2010
  • 11:54 AM

More on The Social Sensitivity Hypothesis

by Sean Roberts in A Replicated Typo 2.0

In a recent post, James wrote about the Social Sensitivity hypothesis.  Given findings that certain genetic variants will make a person more sensitive to social contact and more reliant on social contact under stress, it proposes that certain genetic variants ‘fit’ better with certain social structures.  In support of this idea, Way and Lieberman (2010) find . . . → Read More: More on The Social Sensitivity Hypothesis... Read more »

Caspi, A., Karen Sugden,, Terrie E. Moffitt,, Alan Taylor,, Ian W. Craig,, HonaLee Harrington,, Joseph McClay,, Jonathan Mill,, Judy Martin,, Antony Braithwaite,.... (2003) Influence of Life Stress on Depression: Moderation by a Polymorphism in the 5-HTT Gene. Science, 301(5631), 386-389. DOI: 10.1126/science.1083968  

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